In Part Three of a four-part series, Robert J. Braathe of Braathe Enterprises offers some tips on utilizing Apple products in your business
BY ROBERT BRAATHE
The Mac in all of its forms (laptop and desktop), and other Apple products like the iPad and iPhone, have become increasingly popular each year because of their reliability and compatibility with business uses.
A concern that often comes up in a pre-purchase descision is whether or not a business can take payments, run programs or perform business specific tasks typically run previously on a PC or POS system.
And one of the other biggest concerns I hear from business owners is the perceived lack of support out there for issues related to Apple products and their integration into business.
For the first issue, Apple has available a Microsoft Office Suite, as well as Mac versions of popular business programs such as Quickbooks, Quicken, and Filemaker. POS systems such as Lightspeed, ShopKeep and Checkout can turn your Mac and/or iPad into a cash register. Square allows you to take credit card payments on your iPad, Android device or iPhone/iPod Touch with internet access.
For those who have to run PC-specific applications on the Mac, there are PC “emulators” like Parallels and VMWare Fusion that allow for running Windows XP, Windows 7 or Vista. You can also make a Mac into a fully functional PC using software called Bootcamp, which is built right into your Mac. From client experience, using any of these options has made the transition pretty seamless.
Need to access your system remotely? Common tools like GoToMyPC have Mac versions.
Need to connect or run a webbing? WebEx and GoToMeeting also work on a Mac.
As for finding assistance here in the Capital District, their are many resources where one can find not only Apple products for sale, but also Apple support available on an as-needed basis.
The Apple Store at the Crossgates Mall is the most widely known of these locations. Apple provides in store sales and support, including a new program called Joint Venture which includes in-store training for your staff and dedicated phone support for your business.
If you don’t want to trek to Albany, Best Buy also provides support for your needs if you want a nearby location for Apple sales and support.
For Skidmore students, the Skidmore Store has a selection of Apple products available for those needing an accessory or computer, as well as help desk support at certain hours during the week.
For those looking for support to come to them, some consultants make house calls. We at Braathe Enterprises offer on-site business and home support, and we work closely with the Apple Store at Crossgates for issues they may not be able to handle in the store. We also offer training classes online and at our offices at 12 Circular St. in Saratoga Springs. For full details, visit www.braatheenterprises.com/apple.
Next week: How to Market to Your Market
Robert J. Braathe is the founder and principal of Braathe Enterprises. For information visit the company website at www.braatheenterprises.com.